Most Americans don’t have an issue with the people of Iran, nor certainly with those of Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia. We didn’t have an issue with the Vietnamese, Cambodians, Laotians either. The US Pentagon pummeled those countries with bombs under the guise of stopping the spread of communism. Now they’re bombing the Middle East under the guise of the so-called ‘war on terror’. The difference between then & now is that the antiwar movement was international & principled, not reduced to a rah-rah cult for Assad & Putin as it is today.

That moment in April 1975 when Vietnamese regular & guerrilla forces routed the US military, forcing them to evacuate, was one of the most thrilling for antiwar activists & in fact for US soldiers who were known as an antiwar army because of their hostility to what the US was doing in Vietnam. The ‘Vietnam Syndrome’ of widespread opposition to wars became the dominant political ethos in the US.

The Pentagon worked tirelessly for years to overcome the ‘Vietnam Syndrome’ using mockery, deceit, & military obfuscations like so-called ‘low-intensity warfare’ in Central America–guerrilla mercenaries along with regular US forces which were anything but low-intensity for the people of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua.

The point is that even the most sophisticated, high-tech armies in the world can be defeated. They create an aura of invincibility by the use of savagery like chemical warfare, barrel bombs, genocide. They have the ideological support of rightwing forces like Assadists, Stalinists, & socialists banging doors for Sanders rather than organizing antiwar mobilizations. But antiwar strength comes from the fearless commitment & resistance of Palestinians, Kashmiris, Indian Muslims, Syrians, Iraqis, Afghans, Yemenis, Bahrainis, Egyptians, Tunisians, Algerians, Somalis, Sudanese, Uyghur, Rohingya. Our most imperative political responsibility is to overcome sectarian differences & rebuild a principled & international antiwar movement that can stand with that fearless resistance & weaken militarism against them.